Disease is a major factor limiting production of watermelons in Alabama. Gummy stem blight, anthracnose, and Fusarium wilt are three of the most serious diseases, causing reduced yields of melons in certain fields in Alabama. Although satisfactory control of gummy stem blight and anthracnose may be accomplished with the proper application of organic fungicides during normal weather conditions, no control measure is effective during periods of high humidity and high rainfall. The discovery that certain plant introductions were resistant to gummy stem blight and race 2 anthracnose led to development of multiple disease resistant breeding lines that produce high yields of excellent quality fruit. This research resulted in the 1991 release of AU-Golden Producer and Au-Sweet Scarlet varieties that are resistant to gummy stem blight, Fusarium wilt, and anthracnose (Colletotrichum laginarium race 2). Both melons are superior to current varieties of their type in yield, quality, and disease resistance.
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